The atomic bomb that never was. The story of a Hiroshima bomb victim

Masayuki Nakamura received a direct hit from the first atomic bomb dropped on his city, and many other groups who lived in its immediate vicinity were left with severe radiation sickness. It’s unclear when…

The atomic bomb that never was. The story of a Hiroshima bomb victim

Masayuki Nakamura received a direct hit from the first atomic bomb dropped on his city, and many other groups who lived in its immediate vicinity were left with severe radiation sickness. It’s unclear when the blast occurred, but Nakamura says it was around midday on August 6, 1945. The first waves of bomb were released at a blast rate of 50 kilotons.

This atomic bomb was the best weapon the Allies could come up with at the time and was too powerful to rely on its deterrent power. It’s a myth that was recently exploded by Director of the Nuclear Policy Research Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and New York Times columnist Tom Friedman: “Think about Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Friedman said. “North Korea is a threat — no question about it. But North Korea is a threat to the security of Japan. The United States of America is a threat to the security of South Korea. I mean, we can look at it so easily. We can read an encyclopedia about it, but it’s silly.”

The atomic bomb

Nakamura, now 96, told reporters: “I was just heading home from school. We first got hit by an airplane that went really low and then another airplane went over us and hit us really hard. I saw the mushroom cloud in the sky and I had a piece of glass in my leg from the initial shockwave. … Many people were unconscious. I called people who didn’t answer for help. I was just running toward where I had heard there was help. There I found three men who said they’d heard I was on the other side of the road. They helped me get home.”

In November 2016, Nakamura was awarded the peace prize by the Hiroshima City Association of Neighbors, the Japanese Alliance for Nuclear Disarmament and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

“Mr. Nakamura, as a victim of the atomic bombing, is fighting for a nuclear-weapon-free world,” the mayor of Hiroshima, Kazumi Matsui, said at the time. “Through his example of grace and courage, he deserves to be regarded as a great example for those around the world today who seek a nuclear-weapon-free world.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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